questionsanyone have a canon hf 200 vixia camcorder?

vote-for2vote-against
vote-for2vote-against

I've had the HF10, a cousin of this camera, for about a year now. I'd recommend it.

Some things to keep in mind:
*Make sure you have realistic expectations. You'll have to drop several thousand dollars to get truly pro-level, Discovery-HD-like results.

*No camera in this class is terrific in low light, but I think I remember reading some reviews that some other brands tend to be better than Canon in low-light. (mine has a slightly larger CMOS, so I suspect it does better than this one, but still not great).

My biggest complaint about the camera is that it doesn't come with a battery charger. You have to use the camera itself to charge the battery. And the canon-brand charger runs about $50-$60.

I don't have room to list all the things I love about my camera, so I'll let you read the Amazon reviews.

We've played back video on a few different HDTVs and it looks great.

Be sure to pick up an HDMI cable from monoprice (http://www.monoprice.com/products/search.asp?keyword=3645).

vote-for1vote-against

So except for the lighting you are happy with the HF10? I saw a battery charger that works with mine on sale for $30 with an extra battery...so I am guessing you would reccomend that? I want HD quality and realize it won't be top of the line for the price I am paying..but is the HD worth an extra $200-$300 or should I just get an SD camcorder?

vote-for1vote-against

@bryanrome:
"So except for the lighting you are happy with the HF10?"

Yes.

"I saw a battery charger that works with mine on sale for $30 with an extra battery..."

I've tried an aftermarket (Adorama branded) battery in my Canon 40D DSLR. It works OK, but doesn't last as long as the Canon brand batteries. Just something to consider.

"so I am guessing you would reccomend that?"

Absolutely. I'm not sure why you're wanting to get a camcorder, but for me it was because we had a baby. I didn't want to get a couple of hours into an event and run out of juice.... Or memory space, for that matter*.

"I want HD quality and realize it won't be top of the line for the price I am paying..but is the HD worth an extra $200-$300 or should I just get an SD camcorder?"

I would go for HD if I had it to do over again. First, it's just convenient to have the right aspect ratio for HDTV. Also, from what I've seen, the video quality really is better.

I'm running out of characters - to be continued....

vote-for2vote-against

@bryanrome:
*I think Canon recommends using at least a Class 4 SDHC card. I'd get Class 6. This ensures your card can keep up with the amount of data being written to it when recording at highest quality.

Get 2 or three 8GB or 16GB cards. This will prevent you from getting too much on a single card in case a card is ever damaged.

If you're patient, Sandisk runs a round of rebates a few times per year. They're progressive, meaning that the discount is greater for buying two identical cards than just one, and even greater for buying three identical cards. (It maxes out at 3). Then, once in a blue moon, a store will discount their cards while the rebates are active. I got 3 of their 8GB Extreme III 20MB/S cards for $108 - $90 rebate = $18 / 3cards = $6/card. A deal that good might not come around again any time soon, but it gives you something to shoot for.

vote-for2vote-against

Thanks for all the helpful info. And yes I am getting the camcorder because we just had a baby! My wife only wants to spend $200 on a camcorder...I am trying to convince her the Canon hf 200 is the one we should get.

vote-for2vote-against

@bryanrome: I hear ya'. Babies are not cheap.

Here are a couple of other things you should probably consider:
- Do you currently have an HDTV? If so, I'd definitely recommend getting an HD camcorder. Even if you don't, going HD now might mean a couple more years of use before you really want to upgrade camcorders.
- Do you want to edit the footage you shoot at all? If so, you need to make sure that your computer is up to it.

The computer I had when we first got the HF10 was a home-built AMD 2.4GHz Dual Core with 4GB RAM. It choked pretty bad whenever I messed with HD video. I've since built a new computer with a 3GHz quad core and 8GB of RAM. It holds up quite well indeed.

If all else fails, you can probably guilt your wife into going for the more expensive camera by talking about it being the tool you're counting on to capture your child's first.... everything. 10 years from now when you long for the days of having a baby, you'll want to have captured every detail possible.